Day 1: Home to Venice
We arrived at our hotel sweaty and stressed because we turned too soon from the waterfront and got a bit lost. That was the only issue with the trip. The water shuttle from the airport was actually kind of fun.
We had dinner reservations at Rossopomodoro. Then we walked over to the piazza which was cool all lit up. We heard the James Bond theme from the Cafe Florian orchestra. That was a hoot.
Day 2: Basilica San Marco and Palazzo Ducale
We began with an adventure getting into the basilica. I had the barcode that they told me to download and they wanted to see the whole receipt, which I didn’t have because I couldn’t get to my email. After trying everything, we asked if there was wifi nearby. THEN they let us go in and use the barcode reader and it worked?!? I could have done without the drama.
We stopped at Rossopomodoro to get sandwiches since we hadn’t had breakfast yet. Despite our hotel being only a few minutes walk from the piazza the nearby streets and canals were quiet.
In the afternoon we went to the doge’s palace. The ticket included a visit to the Correr museum and I needed to choose an entry time. I estimated perfectly – we were at the doge’s palace for 1.5 hours.
Even if you’re not interested in the museum, the view of the basilica from that end of the square is worth the walk.
We spent 45 minutes at the Correr museum before heading back to our hotel to refresh before our food tour. The museum was interesting but warm and we were jetlagged.
We were the last to arrive for our Devour tour but got there before the deadline. This was our second tour with them; we did a tapas tour in Barcelona too. We highly recommend them. The guides are great. We especially appreciated our local guide here who was conscientious about keeping our group from blocking traffic. We made several stops in less-touristed parts of Venice for ciccetti and spritzers, a meat and cheese board with prosecco, pasta with anchovy sauce with red wine, a mozzarella and anchovy sandwich with valpolicella, and gelato with local gin. We had a mix of yanks and aussies in our group. The notes below are our guide’s local recommendations. We took the vaporetto back to our hotel. This time we followed the directions and they were easy!
Day 3: Grand Canal and a splurge lunch
We got started late so we could sleep in. We bought a 24-hour vaporetto pass last night so it was still good for our “tour” this morning. We took the vaporetto to the train station down the Grand Canal, then walked to Vini da Pinto where we had lunch reservations. Our sea bass for two baked in salt was quite the production and they talked us into a €49 bottle of wine. (We are not wine connoisseurs.) But the food was good, they gave us free prosecco, a shot, and biscotti. It was fun and we sat next to a funny couple from Phoenix.
Later we took the boat again since our 24-hour pass was still good and got our first gelato (pistachio) on the way home.
We stayed at Locanda Casa Querini, in a great location near San Marco yet quiet. Very nice hosts. Beautiful room, though small. (Our choice, to save some money. Venice is pricey.) Our only issue was that it was very stuffy, probably due to the humid weather.
We had a great dinner (pizza) and breakfast (sandwiches) at Rossopomodoro. Our Devour food tour stopped at several local spots; I didn’t take note of the names but they were all great! Vini da Pinto was enjoyable. It was convenient being able to make lunch reservations online. There are endless places to eat, of course.
It’s odd to take boats everywhere. We took the Aliluna shuttle from the airport. It was slow but relaxing. We took the vaporetto to the train station when we left. Our host recommended the #5.2 boat but it wasn’t really designed for people with baggage. The crew were denying passengers with lots of baggage and suggested they take the #1 boat instead. Those boats are larger and have few if any steps. Tip: You can buy a ticket the day before to avoid dealing with it first thing in the morning!